Ratings & Reviews
08/25/2020 – smdonskyBought and sold a home in 2019 in Los Angeles, CA.
Pete Roach was invaluable during the purchase of our current home. We had a complicated multi-layered transaction process which involved the sale of property in another state. Pete Roach was knowledgeable, expedient and faced every challenge with unparalleled excellence. With Pete Roach’s guidance we are completed the sale out of state property and purchase our new Beach Side Home. We would highly recommend Pete Roach to everyone, first time buyers, multi-property transactions or investors.
08/24/2020 – rcs nycHelped me rent a home in Los Angeles, CA.
Really enjoyed our experience finding a home to rent with Pete. He’s super knowledgeable, professional, and kind. We especially appreciated his patience and clarity helping to negotiate our lease! We’ll definitely work with him again.
08/23/2020 – deliamartin401Bought a home in 2019 in South Pasadena, CA.
Pete helped us buy our first home! He has extensive knowledge of all things West Side but when we pivoted to the San Gabriel Valley, he was on point in every way! He did research, talked to locals and drove out to scout the open houses for us. We highly recommend Pete!
08/22/2020 – shawn yardFound a tenant for a home in Culver City, CA.
Local knowledge: —
Peter was incredibly responsive to my needs, and went above and beyond to help me. His knowledge and experience are very clear and super impressive. I highly recommend him to anyone who is looking for an amazing Real Estate agent.
08/20/2020 – SuzyFGBought and sold a home in 2020 in La Quinta, CA.
I’ve bought and sold many properties over the past 35 Years, and working with Pete is always an amazing and effortless experience. He has represented me on both purchases and sales of several properties and has handled every transaction with great knowledge and expertise. Throughout every step of the process Pete is communicative, extremely knowledgeable, efficient. Pete is a great resolution finder and is always prepared to meet every challenge. Working with Pete is always an easy and pleasant experience. I highly recommend Pete, whether you are a first time buyer or an experienced investor.
VENICE | SANTA MONICA | MAR VISTA | MARINA | WESTCHESTER | CULVER CITY
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Home to the Los Angeles Rams and the Chargers, the new NFL SoFi Stadium is the most expensive venue ever constructed.
Video hosted by Fred Mills.
IT’S the most ambitious stadium ever constructed.
Designed like no other and covering almost 300,000 square metres, SoFi Stadium is partly set below ground to avoid the LAX flight path and boasts open sides, a vast canopy roof, shimmering lights and an 80-million-pixel video board.
Easily the most expensive stadium built by mankind to date, the venue will become home to the LA Rams and the Chargers – and is set to host the Olympic Games in 2028.
Above: Set in a 300-acre entertainment complex, the SoFi Stadium would become one of the greatest venues ever conceived (image courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park).
When sports mogul Stan Kroenke took control of the St Louis Rams in 2010, he set about bringing the team back to LA.
With a large area of land acquired in Inglewood four years later, the team officially returned in 2016 and temporarily played at the LA Memorial Coliseum, while work to construct their jaw-dropping new home began.
Owned by the Rams, the Chargers would relocate from San Diego and share the ground as tenants.
By almost every metric the building is in a league of its own.
It’s the most expensive venue ever built and the stadium is the largest in the NFL by floor area. There’s almost 300,000 square metres of useable space. The near-70,000 seat capacity can be expanded to 100,000 – and there are 260 luxury suites.
Above: While SoFi’s scale is off the charts, its ground-breaking design is what sets it apart (image courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park).
HKS Architects wanted a clean break with the Colosseum-style format that most new stadiums still follow today and devised a unique hybrid approach.
It has all the advantages of an open-sided outdoor venue – with cool air able to flow around the arena – and the protective benefits of an enclosed stadium.
Consisting of the main arena and a separate 6,000-seat performance space, the entire venue sits under a 90,000 square metre ETFE roof canopy suspended by a double cable net support system.
Above: The roof’s support system is the largest of its kind in the world (image courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park).
The use of a specially manufactured white metal for the canopy gives the roof a different appearance depending on your proximity to the stadium and the time of day.
From a distance, the roof appears as one solid piece, but the presence of small holes in the surface up close gives it a more translucent look. And while the canopy shines white in the daytime, it reflects the LA sunset at dusk and teams with colour changing LEDs at night.
At the venue’s heart sits the double-sided Oculus – an 80-million-pixel, 360-degree, 4K display.
Above: SoFi Stadium is home to the largest video board ever created for a sports venue (image courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park).
Building a super stadium in this particular location came with some serious challenges.
With the site sitting close to LAX, the project team had to adhere to strict height restrictions and engineers set around 30 metres of the venue below ground – ensuring it could be big enough for the Super Bowl, while keeping it low enough to avoid disrupting flight paths.
The stadium also sits next to the Newport-Inglewood fault line. To protect the structure against possible earthquakes, the large columns that hold up the roof are fitted with isolators at either end to absorb seismic energy and prevent damage to the canopy.
Breaking ground in November 2016, record rainfall a year later delayed the stadium’s completion from 2019 to the 2020 season. The stadium found itself at the mercy of external events again in 2020 as the pandemic swept the world.
Above: The venue is now around 97% complete (image courtesy of Drone World).
Originally set to open in July, social distancing measures on the site mean that completion has now been slightly postponed while an inaugural event by Taylor Swift has been cancelled.
Despite these setbacks, the new stadium – with its unparalleled scale, cutting-edge features and trail-blazing design – is about to give LA the world-class venue it’s long waited for.
Add in SoFi Stadium’s planned hosting of the Super Bowl in 2022 and the Olympic Games in 2028, and its status as an icon is almost assured.
Narrated by Fred Mills. Additional footage and images courtesy of Chargers, Drone World, Google Earth, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles Rams, Phillip Kalantzis Cope/CC BY 2.5, Ron Reiring/CC BY 2.0, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park and Tim Case/CC BY-SA 3.0.
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Credits: The B1M
WASHINGTON (June 4, 2020) – The National Association of Realtors® identified 10 markets with favorable conditions for millennial homebuyers during the coronavirus pandemic. In alphabetical order, the markets are:
- Austin-Round Rock, Texas
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
- Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
- Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh, North Carolina
- Houston-The Woodlands, Texas
- Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana
- Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa
- Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona
- Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington
- Salt Lake City, Utah
“Record-low mortgage rates have improved housing affordability, bringing more buyers into the market, and multiple offers for starter homes could become common in these metro areas,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “With relatively better employment conditions and a strong presence of millennials in these markets, more new home construction will be required to fully satisfy the housing demand as the economy reopens.”
NAR identified the top 10 metro areas for millennial homebuyers by analyzing current housing affordability, local job market conditions during the coronavirus pandemic, the share of millennials in the area and inventory availability in the largest 100 metropolitan statistical areas across the country.
“Nationally, millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers and these metropolitan areas, in particular, offer great opportunities to realize the dream of homeownership,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “As states and cities begin to reopen, millennials will play a significant role in the housing market’s recovery.”
Nationwide, the typical household can afford to buy 40% of the homes currently listed for sale compared to 34% a year earlier, according to the Realtors® Affordability Distribution Score, a collaboration between the National Association of Realtors® and realtor.com®. The score measures the affordability of current for-sale homes overall as well as at different income levels. In these top 10 markets, affordability increased more this year than it did nationwide. For example, a household earning $100,000 in Dallas can afford to buy 56% of homes currently listed for sale compared to 45% last year.
According to April 2020 employment data, employment declined by an average of nearly 13% in the largest 100 metro areas compared to last year. However, in Dallas, Houston, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, employment dropped 8% from a year earlier.
The 10 markets listed had a smaller share of workers, on average, in industries most affected by the pandemic-induced economic lockdown. For example, in Durham and Des Moines, 15% and 17% of employees, respectively, work in industries at high risk from coronavirus. The average for the largest 100 metropolitan areas is 21%.
Another common factor among these markets is better-than-average inventory availability. For Des Moines and Omaha, the number of active listings in April 2020 increased by 5% and 1%, respectively, according to realtor.com®. However, inventory declined 18% on average in the largest 100 metro areas.
Three in 10 residents in these markets – 30% – are millennials. With millennials making up the largest cohort of homebuyers, these areas are expected to see many of their millennial residents become homeowners.
To view NAR’s Top 10 Most Favorable Areas for Millennials During the Pandemic report, visit https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/top-10-most-favorable-areas-for-millennials-during-the-pandemic.
June is National Homeownership Month and NAR encourages current and future homeowners to visit https://homeownershipmatters.realtor/ or search #CreatingHome to learn more about the benefits of owning a home as well as policies and programs that promote homeownership.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
credit: National Association of Realtors
Opportunity Zones are census tracts that are defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as “economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.” They were added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017. (opzones.ca.gov)
Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor travels to Portland, Oregon to learn how to protect homes from earthquakes.
- The work involved with a seismic retrofit often requires a consultation with an engineer, and any work involving gas must be done by a licensed professional. Consulting with a person who is licensed to do seismic retrofits can help identify key areas to work with in order to minimize damage.
- The house can be secured to the foundation by securing metal L brackets into the rim joist and the sill plate at locations determined by the engineer with a palm nailer and 10 penny nails.
- To connect the sill plate to the foundation, drill screw anchors into the anchor plates and the foundation, and wood screws through the anchor plates to the sill plate. Predrill the sill plate to prevent it from splitting.
- To prevent gas from leaking into the house during an earthquake, an automatic gas shut off valve can be installed by a licensed gas fitter.
- Shut off the gas to the meter.
- Disconnect the gas pipes starting from the meter until you reach a level gas pipe.
- Thread the gas shut off valve into the pipes using pipe dope and nipples.
- Reconnect the remaining gas pipes to the meter and turn the gas back on. Check for any leaks in the new gas work.
- Secure any valuables and nick knacks to the wall, shelves, and floor using museum putty and zip ties.
- Secure the water heater to the surrounding walls using straps.
While the specialty hardware that was used to secure the house to the foundation can be found at most home centers, determining the proper location for that hardware may require a consultation with an engineer.
The seismic gas shutoff valve installed was a Northridge Valve, which is manufactured by Seismic Safety Products (http://www.seismic-safety.com/). Gas work is extremely dangerous and should always be left to licensed professionals.
The museum putty used to secure valuables to the shelves is manufactured by QuakeHOLD (http://www.quakehold.com/emergency-ma…).
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The likes of Amazon, Google, Samsung, Apple and others are all competing for smart home dominance – but what drove so many of us to invite these multinational corporations into the highly personal spaces where we live?
In a world that is more connected than ever before, millions of us have welcomed leading technology giants into our properties for entertainment, to adjust the heating and even answer the door.
Now a major market in its own right, the likes of Amazon, Google, Samsung, Apple and others are all competing for smart home dominance.
But why do these businesses care so much about where we live? Why are they developing such useful systems? What does this new world mean for our built environment? And what drove so many of us to invite these multinational corporations into the highly personal spaces we call home?
Credits: The B1M, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Apple, Philips, iRobot, Sonos, Honeywell, Ford, Behance, Facebook, Sidewalk Labs, Daikin and Ring.
First-Time Homebuyer – Smart Tips
Buying your first home comes with many big decisions and can be as scary as it is exciting. It’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of home shopping and make mistakes that could leave you with buyer’s remorse later.
If this is your first rodeo as a homebuyer or it’s been many years since you last bought a home, knowledge is power. Here are the 14 most common mistakes first-time buyers make — and how to steer clear of these missteps.
1. Get Pre-Approved Before You Begin Looking for a Home
Many first-time buyers make the mistake of viewing homes before ever meeting with a mortgage lender. This puts you behind the ball if a home hits the market you love, or you look at homes that you can’t afford.
In some large markets, housing inventory is still tight and competition is fierce. You might find yourself willing to stretch your budget to buy a property or lose a property because you aren’t preapproved for a mortgage, says Alfredo Arteaga, a loan officer with Movement Mortgage in Mission Viejo, California.
What to do instead: “Before you fall in love with that gorgeous dream house you’ve been eyeing, be sure to get a fully underwritten preapproval,” Arteaga says. Being preapproved sends the message that you’re a serious buyer whose credit and finances pass muster to successfully get a loan.
2. Shop Around with Different Lenders for Loan
This one is a biggie. First-time buyers might get a mortgage from the first (and only) lender or bank they talk to, potentially leaving thousands of dollars on the table. The more you shop around, the better basis for comparison you’ll have to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
“A good mortgage loan officer can look at your situation and diagnose any potential roadblocks ahead to give you a clear understanding of your home-buying options,” Arteaga says.
What to do instead: Shop around with at least three different lenders, as well as a mortgage broker. Compare rates, lender fees and loan terms. Don’t discount customer service and lender responsiveness; both play key roles in making the mortgage approval process run smoothly.
3. Buy Only Enough House That You Can Reasonably Afford
It’s easy to fall in love with homes that might stretch your budget, but overextending yourself can lead to regret and worse later. It can put you at higher risk of losing your home if you fall on tough financial times.
What to do instead: Focus on what monthly payment you can afford rather than fixating on the maximum loan amount you qualify for. Just because you can qualify for a $300,000 loan, that doesn’t mean you can afford the monthly payments that come with it. Factor in your other obligations that don’t show on a credit report when determining how much house you can afford.
4. Take Your Time Don’t Rush Things
Buying a home can be complex, particularly when you get into the weeds of the mortgage process. Rushing the process can cost you later on, says Nick Bush, a Realtor with TowerHill Realty in Rockville, Maryland.
“The biggest mistake that I see [first-time buyers make] is to not plan far enough ahead for their purchase,” Bush says. “This doesn’t allow them to save (for a down payment and closing costs), fix items on their credit report, and debunk some of the myths about the process with a realtor and lender.”
What to do instead: Map out your home-buying timeline at least a year in advance. Keep in mind it can take months — even years — to repair poor credit and save enough for a sizable down payment. Work on boosting your credit score, paying down debt and saving more money to put you in a stronger position to get preapproved.
5. Hold Some Savings in Reserve
Spending all or most of their savings on the down payment and closing costs is one of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make, says Ed Conarchy, a mortgage planner and investment adviser at Cherry Creek Mortgage in Gurnee, Illinois.
“Some people scrape all their money together to make the 20 percent down payment so they don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance, but they are picking the wrong poison because they are left with no savings at all,” Conarchy says.
Homebuyers who put 20 percent or more down don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance when getting a conventional mortgage. That’s usually translated into substantial savings on the monthly mortgage payment. But it’s not worth the risk of living on the edge, Conarchy says.
What to do instead: Aim to have three to six months of living expenses in an emergency fund. Paying mortgage insurance isn’t ideal, but depleting your emergency or retirement savings to make a large down payment is riskier.
6. Be Mindful of Your Credit
Lenders pull credit reports at preapproval to make sure things check out and again just before closing. They want to make sure nothing has changed in your financial picture. Any new loans or credit card accounts on your credit report can jeopardize the closing. Buyers, especially first-timers, often learn this lesson the hard way.
The goal: keep the status quo in your finances from preapproval to closing. Otherwise, you could lower your credit score, run up your debt-to-income ratio and imperil your final loan approval.
What to do instead: Don’t open new credit cards, close existing accounts, take out new loans or make large purchases on existing credit accounts in the months leading up to applying for a mortgage through closing day. Pay down your existing balances to below 30 percent of your available credit limit, and pay your bills on time and in full every month.
7. Be Flexible with Home Style and Design, Focus on Location
Sure, you want a home that checks off the items on your wish list and meets your needs. Being nitpicky about a home’s cosmetics, however, can be short-sighted if you wind up in a neighborhood you hate, says Alison Bernstein, president and founder of Suburban Jungle, a real estate strategy firm.
“Selecting the right town is critical to your life and family development,” Bernstein says. “The goal is to find you and your brood a place where the culture and values of the (area) match yours. You can always trade up or down for a new home; add a third bathroom or renovate a basement.”
What to do instead: Ask your real estate agent to help you track down neighborhood crime stats and school ratings. Measure the drive from the neighborhood to your job to gauge commuting time and proximity to public transportation. Visit the neighborhood at different times to get a sense of traffic, neighbor interactions and the overall vibe to see if it’s an area that appeals to you.
8. Try to Be Objective in the Decision Process
Buying a house is a major life milestone. It’s a place where you’ll make memories, create a space that’s truly yours, and put down roots. It’s easy to get too attached and make emotional decisions, so remember that you’re also making one of the largest investments of your life, says Ralph DiBugnara, president of Home Qualified in New York City.
“With this being a strong seller’s market, a lot of first-time buyers are bidding over what they are comfortable with because it is taking them longer than usual to find homes,” DiBugnara says.
What to do instead: “Have a budget and stick to it,” DiBugnara says. “Don’t become emotionally attached to a home that is not yours.”
9. You Do NOT Need 20 Percent Down Payment
The long-held belief that you must put 20 percent down payment is a myth. While a 20 percent down payment does help you avoid paying private mortgage insurance, many buyers today don’t want (or can’t) put down that much money. In fact, the median down payment on a home is 13 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Delaying your home purchase to save up 20 percent could take years, and you could limit cash flow that could be put to better use maximizing your retirement savings, adding to your emergency fund or paying down high-interest debt.
What to consider instead: You can put as little as 3 percent down for a conventional mortgage (note: you’ll pay mortgage insurance). Some government-insured loans require 3.5 percent down or zero down, in some cases. Plus, check with your local or state housing programs to see if you qualify for housing assistance programs designed for first-time buyers.
10. Be Realistic with You’re Wants, Don’t Wait for That ‘unicorn’
Unicorns do not exist in real estate, and finding a perfect property is like finding a needle in a haystack. Looking for perfection can narrow your choices too much, and you might pass over solid contenders in the hopes that something better will come along. But this type of thinking can sabotage your search, says James D’Astice, a real estate agent with Compass in Chicago.
What to do instead: Keep an open mind about what’s on the market and be willing to put in some sweat equity, DiBugnara says. Some loan programs let you roll the cost of repairs into your mortgage, too, he adds.
11. Check out All Financing Options; FHA, VA and USDA Loans
First-time buyers might be cash-strapped in this environment of rising home prices and higher mortgage rates. As a result, it can be harder for them to qualify for a conventional loan and they might assume they have no financing options. That’s where government-insured loans enter the picture.
What to do instead: Look into one of the three government-insured loan programs backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA loans) and U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA loans). Here’s a brief overview of each:
FHA loans require just 3.5 percent down with a minimum 580 credit score. FHA loans can fill the gap for borrowers who don’t have top-notch credit or little money saved up. The major drawback to these loans, though, is mandatory mortgage insurance, paid both annually and upfront at closing.
VA loans are backed by the VA for eligible active-duty and veteran military service members and their spouses. These loans don’t require a down payment, but some borrowers may pay a funding fee. VA loans are offered through private lenders, and come with a cap on lender fees to keep borrowing costs affordable.
USDA loans help moderate- to low-income borrowers buy homes in rural areas. You must purchase a home in a USDA-eligible area and meet certain income limits to qualify. Some USDA loans do not require a down payment for eligible borrowers with low incomes.
12. Be Mindful of All Costs of Home-ownership
If you had sticker shock from seeing your new monthly principal and interest payment, wait until you add up the other costs of owning a home. As a new homeowner, you’ll pay for property taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, hazard insurance, repairs, maintenance and utilities, to name a few.
A Bankrate.com survey found that the average homeowner pays $2,000 annually on maintenance services. Not having enough cushion in your monthly budget — or a healthy rainy day fund — can quickly put you in the red if you’re not prepared.
What to do instead: Your agent or lender can help you crunch numbers on taxes, mortgage insurance and utility bills. Shop around for insurance coverage to get compare quotes. Finally, aim to set aside at least 1 percent to 3 percent of the home’s purchase price annually for repairs and maintenance expenses.
13. Take Advantage of “Gift” Money
Many loan programs allow you to use a gift from a family, friend, employer or charity toward your down payment. Not sorting who will provide this money and when, though, can throw a wrench into a loan approval.
“The time to confirm that the Bank of Mom and Dad is ready, willing and able to provide you with help for your down payment is before you start home shopping,” says Dana Scanlon, a realtor with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Bethesda, Maryland. “If a buyer ratifies a contract to purchase a home with an understanding that they will be getting gift money, and the gift money fails to materialize, they can lose their earnest money deposit.”
What to do instead: Have a frank discussion with anyone who offers money as a gift toward your down payment about how much they are offering and when you’ll receive the money. Make a copy of the check or electronic transfer showing how and when the money traded hands from the gift donor to you. Lenders will verify this through bank statements and a signed gift letter.